During the control period in this study, small premature infants, 1500 g in birth weight, had insensible water loss (IWL) of 2.28 g/kg/hr (equivlaent to 54 ml/kg/day), which is considerably higher than in full term infants. Under phototherapy, there was a significant increase in IWL (3.14 g/kg/hr) associated with increase of skin and rectal temperature. The heart rate and respiratory rates were comparable. Full term infants in stress situations such as phototherapy can compensate for water losses by increasing oral intake. In small premature infants, reliance must be placed upon increased amounts of parenteral fluids when under phototherapy.
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